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focus on the bottle. actor, director, mel gibson's drunken out andwurst comedian, robin williams, self imposed check in at a rehab clinic spotlighted alcohol abuse. but the problem hits much closer to home than hollywood. a new study of teenage drinking and drug usury vels that one-half of all used 17 years old say that marijuana, cocaine and alcohol are common at house parties where parents are present. is substance abuse the new national pastime? we'll ask joe call fon oh, director of the national center on addiction and substance abuse.
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kaf if. for such a small if i live to a hundred. if social security isn't enough. if my heart gets broken. if she says yes. we believe if should never hold you back. if should be managed with a plan that builds on what you already have. together we can create a personal safety net, a launching pad, for all those brilliant ifs in the middle of life. you can call on our expertise and get guarantees for the if in life. after all, we're metlife.
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welcome secretary califano. >> nice to be with you. >> pleasure to have you with us. mel gibson was arrested in malibu, california not long ago and i'd like to know from you from your knowledge of the case, whether or not mel gibson was exhibiting signs, clear signs that he's an alcoholic. >> i think -- he was certainly exhibiting clear signs that he's an alcohol abuser. that he gets drunk and loses any inhibitions and lets the demons out. whether or not he is a full-blown alcoholic in the sense that he drinks so much so often that he can't function in his creative life, he can't function with his family, he can't function in day-to-day, or and that he drinks even though he knows it's badly hurting him in a whole variety of ways. i don't know the answer to
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that. only the people who are treating him know that. exactly arnks abusers as well as alcoholics need treatment, they need help. >> we can't move that definition into a little bit more precision perhaps because there had been thought that to be an alcoholic it goes beyond problem drinking. to be an alcoholic you have descriptions in your life, major disruptions. either you can't hold a job or you have serious material relationship problems or you have financial problems or you can't get through the day without alcohol or you're a morning drinker. we are also joined in this georn universi medical school and he is also the medical
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director and founder of kolmac clinic. which is an intensive outpatient addiction treatment program and the united states and i believe it was the first. dr. kolodner, on this better of alcohol itch, do you think that the behavior of mel gibson is that of a binchl drinker or is that of an alcoholic and is it legitimate to make and necessary to make a distinction between the two? >> can't comment on mel gibson but in terms of the definition of alcoholism, i would agree with you that people have to have a serious disfunction in some area of their life. what's so impressive to me about alcoholism is how well so many people are diagnosed can function in the world very effectively despite their drinking and therefore they become hidden because i think many people have stereo types of alcoholics as being totally disfunctional people which
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they usually are not. >> do alcoholics, true alcoholics have hallucinations? do they spin fantasies and if that were the case, does that mitigate the other charge against mel gibson and a statement -- his ethics statement? perhaps he was spinning fant cease rather than speaking what he really believed or what in any way actiated in. >> i can't answer the question as to whether mel gibson is antisa metic. but i do think that alcohol abuse can let demonsout of you. let me give you -- most rape occurs in social situations when either the guy is drunk or the girl is drunk. alcohol does disinhibit. we have done studies of women in colleges and why their drinking has gone through the roof, tripled over the last 15 years and one of the two main answers
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they give is i'm under terrific pressure to have sex and this inhibits me. now with mel gibson disinhibit friday saying he would not have said while he was sober, what he said when he was drunk. does he really believe everything in his heart that he said when he was drunk? i don't know the answer to that. >> alcoholics have dts. they have deleariums. >> of course that do i. >> that's hallucination. what if he's hallucinating? >> i don't know whether he was hallucinating or not. but, when he came to, he certainly felt he had done some terrible terrible things. >> are you doing anything in connection with this in relation to some of the films that have been been in hollywood? you remember the film, lost weekend and the rivoting film, leaving las vegas where a person just drank himself to death. do you do anything with
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hollywood on these other films like old school or animal house or cocktail which makes alcoholic beverage taking fun, romantic, cool? >> i think that's terrible. i think that hollywood's obligation is to portray the stuff realistically and the lost weekend did portray it. the fantastic movie with a big impact. i think television's obligation is the same thing. look at the "wil and grace" show. they have a character on there hooked on vikatin and pun cutesy but they don't have all the stuff that happens to you when you're hooked on vikatin. the diarrhea, the physical breakdown, the mental breakdown. this is not cutesy stuff. getting drunk, using drugs, is not cutesy stuff. and hollywood has a responsibility to portray it realistically. too many times -- i think animal house is -- i think these teen shows that
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glorify drinking and binge drinking and pill popping and pot smoking -- >> on the matter of pill popping, we have a gentleman on the phone who does prescribe mood-altering drugs to a lot of people. i presume because that's that is where psychiatry is moved to in america. millions of people take mood-altering drugs. is that correct dr. kolodner? >> it's very commonly prescribed, yes and there are certainly doctors that do that well and doctors that don't do that well. >> do you think we are over prescribed? >> i don't think you can generalize. i think that some doctors over prescribe and some doctors under prescribe and it's sometimes very difficult for a person to find a physician that does it right. >> we have a medical industry that is huge. we have a pharmacological industry that is huge.
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we have moov-altering drugs and we have lawyers who are involved in the whole process. >> let me puthe control prescription drugs in perspective. open yoids that dr. kolodner mentioned, between 1992 and 20001, the population in the united states increased 14%. the number of kids abusing prescription drugs went up 212% abusing drugs. the number of adults abusing these drugs wentp 81%. a major study we did at our center and released a couple of years ago. prescription drug aintus a major major problem. dr. kolodner's point is these drugs are good. they help people. no question about that. and it's important to get the abuse stopped.
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we also done with some of the pharmaceutical mail house companies studies and they point out that many, many doctors keep prescribing these drugs longer than they ever should be prescribed and often in amounts they shouldn't be prescribed. that's wrong. but we have to do -- one of the main reasons to get rid of what is wrong here is because they do a lot of good for people. >> that's also true. we could argue that marijuana is good for people. and marijuana could alter a mood. that can have positive affects. what are you saying about that? i mean it seems to me you get impossible area of subject activity if you try to say it's okay for sarm cuticle -- packsil to do this but you can't do it with pot? >> marijuana is a dangerous drug. let me explain something to you. one, the marijuana today is much stronger than the
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marijuana that kids smoked in the 70s. that's number 1. number 2, we know a lot more about it. particularly for young people it affects t developmenof the brain. it affects emotional development and affects motor skills and your ability to pay attention. there are more teenagers in the united states of america in treatment for marijuana dependancy than there are for alcohol dependancy. smoking pot for kids is russian roulette. it's not a rite of passage. >> do you see that sharper difference between marijuana and other mood-altering drugsr. kolodner. >>. >> for one thing there is legal pharmaceutical marijuana. it is the active ingredient that is or can be prescribed and has indications and as you said, it does have definite medical uses. the smoking of marijuana, per se is different than taking pharmaceutical thc because
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it has many other substances in it and it's taken by a different route. my understanding of the literature is there is no demonstration that smoking marijuana is superior to taking pharmaceutical oral thc. and you have a lot of legal issues brought around that. >> will you take the position that oxycontin is superior and preferable to canabbis? >> the problem with oxycontin is that the liver system, the pharmaceutical system that the liver did, prepared it in a way that could be easily defeated so people could get huge doses of medication that was supposed to be slowly released simply by biting down on the tablet or cutting it open and cut the powder out. i think that both of these things are -- very dangerous in different ways. one of the problems with marijuana is people don't take is seriously as a drug. it's affects are much more
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in siddious than those of oxycontin where somebody could get an overdose and die with oxycontin and have severe withdrawl affects and marijuana doesn't have that kind of drama. >> diswroust clarify my position and my playing of the devil's advocate on my part. but the proposition is that america's public education establishment in conjunction with pediatricians have drug an entire generation and boys and to some extent girls with behavior altering medications and now want to do the same even more so for girls. part of an over medication of america and how we are creating a nation of addicts all legally. what would you say to that dr. kolodner. >> i heard that charge but the data doesn't support that. there are a lot of parents who have kids with add or adhd who were very concerned about putting their children on stimulants and wonder figure this is making it
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more likely they would become addicts. there was a study out of harvard that documented just the opposite occurred so if you have someone with adhd, and you medicate them properly with stimulants, they are much less likely to go on and become addicted. many of the marijuana smokers they see are addicted to marijuana are kids with adhd who are self medicating with marijuana to either have been diagnosed with add or diagnosed and they ref dr. kolodner. >> i heard that charge but the data doesn't support that. there are a lot of parents who have kids with add or secretary califano you recently released a survey on teen use of alcohol and drugs. what did you find regardi teenagers use of drugs and alcohol? in particularly parentally supervised parties. >> john, 33% of 12-17 year-olds in this country go to parties where parents are
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present and alcohol, marijuana, extaes, koick, hallucinogens are also present. -- ecstasy. half of 17 year-olds go to parties where parents are present and drugs are present and at parties where no parents are present, it's a certainty alcohol and drugs will be there. what is going on with the parents? what's going on? one, they stay up stairs in their room. they don't want to -- they are 15-year-old says daddy don't and down. we're just having a party down andher they want to be pals, not parents. and they just want to get along with their kids. patients are not doing their job. they are pa luka parents. because they don't or have no idea what their teen's world is like. teenage world itself is a wash of alcohol and drugs. >> how about access to drugs? how long does it take for a teen to find marijuana?
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>> 5 million, 12-17 year-olds can buy marijuana within an hour. 10 million within a dismi what age group? >> 12-17. 10 million. >> within an hour? >> 5 million -- within an hour. it's been this way for the last 3 years. since we started asking these questions. 10-12 million within a day. 20%. we are talking -- we have made no progss protion in this country in terms of the veil builtee - progress -- of drugs to our kids. no change in that. and basically we live in a world, john, your kid is going to be offered illegal drugs before he or she graduates from high school and probably on several occasions and probably several different kinds of drugs. that means you, the parent, have got a hell of a a responsibility to give that kid values to have the strength to say no.
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>> is that what you would council parents to do? >> i think parents are the key here. they are key in two respects. one i council parents not to have alcohol at parties. go find out what their teens are doing at parties and the when their kids go to a party at another house. call-up and say to the parents, are you going to be there? are you going to know what's going on and make sure alcohol isn't there? the other thing they have to do, is our schools are riddled with drugs. riddled with them. the way to get drugs out of schools is parents. if there is asbestos in the skooeling of the school, parents raise hell. they take their kids out. they won't let them back in the classroom until it's all out. but they send those same doids school every day when they know the schools of riddled with drugs. when parents feel strong about drugs in school, as they feel about asbestos in school, we'll start getting the drugs out of the schools. >> there is a lodger question here and that's the
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cultural question and whether this is -- you're saying more than you're really saying with regard to the very nature of the society we live in. but let's not go there quite quiet. you're survey found the transition found between 13-14 years of age is particularly risky for teens. you say that in comparison to 13 year-olds, 14 year-olds are 4 times likely to be offered prescription drugs to abuse. 3 times more likely to be offered extaes and 3 times more likely to be offered marijuana and 3 times more likely to be offered koick. and that's why you cal them dangerous years. is that correct? >> it's a dangerous divide. and we think it shows the move from middle school to high school. because if you look at the middle school about 20% of the middle schools have -- drugs are used, kept and sold and more than 50% of the high schools are schools where drugs are used, kept and sold.
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that's a big jump. when your kid goes high school, he is entering an entirely different world and if you're a parent, you have to be engaged with your kid during that transition. >> what would you council parents with regard to allowing their children to attend parties put on by teens of their age at other snoms. >> i council parents to call-up the other home and say, are you going to be there? are you parents going to be there are you going to watch what is going to? and be there? i mean be there. but these parents are so out of touch. john, one of the things, 80% of the parents we surveyed said that neither alcohol nor marijuana was available at the parties their teens went to. 50% of the teens issues these are the teens of this these parents said critical and marijuana are available. readily available. they don't know what's going
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on or don't want to know. >> your survey terms age 17 a time of route rude awakening. why do you say that? >> because by 17 you're almost certain to be offered drugs. we were stunned to find out that a quarter of the 17 year-olds in these united states knew someone their own age who had been the victim of gun violence personally. a quarter of 17 year-olds had seen drugs dealt in their neighborhood. i think risk goes up over the years but 17 is an age in which alcohol and drugs are everywhere in your life. >> how many teens or what percentage of teens have been offered illegal drugs by the time they reach 18 years of age? >> 18 i would say almost 100%. >> 17? >> 17, the survey shows about 70%. but our guess is that by-and-large, you want to
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figure that you can't get out of high school in the united states without being offered illegal drugs. >> but that doesn'tean it necessarily accepts them? >> that's right. that's why i say parents are important. they are the guys that have to help give these kids the values not to take or not to say yes. nancy reagan took a lot of ridicule for just say no campaign. just say no is the right message. >> what about a racial component? >> the racial thing that disturbs us most in the survey was that 12 and 13 year-olds hispanic and black kids are 3 times likelier, 12 and 13 year-olds, to be offered drugs than 12 and 13-year-old white kids. 20% of black and hispanic kids we surveyed said they had been offered drugs at age 12-13. nonly 7% of white kids said that. now that says those drugs are widely available, and it also says something about law enforcement.
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we tolerate here in washington in south central l.a., and in new york and harlem, and in california and california south central and here in washington in the southeast, drug czars that would be wiped out in 5 minu did you get into the issue of who should prescribe antidepressants and other psychopharmacological medications for mood-altering drugs? should it be psychiatrists only or mds or -- what are you doing with regard to that? >> it should be mds but shay should be much better fland how to do it. and there should be more controls now. most drugs come out through mail ordered houses and we know when a doctor is over prescribing or prescribing too much for a patient. but there is a problem. you talked about oxycontin.
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oxycontin is incredibly effective pain killer. it's incredibly addictive and should only be used in the worst pain. but what happens is the family doctor has 40 people sitting in his room every day. gives it to somebody and they say, i feel fine. and he says god, i have a drug that works and then he puts it out there. and the other thing, parents have got to start thinking about locking their medicine cabinets the way 50 years ago they would have locked their liquor cabinet. because kids get these drugs from their parents. >> i understand. you made progress in that regard. >>. >> we are making progress. not making progress in the availability of illegal drugs and the abuse of prescription drugs by kids is going up. but a program like t what's the larger issue behind this? >> the larger issue is, and i have a new book coming out
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next year, high society. we have a country in which we increasingly think there is a drug for every ill. if we feel lousy we get a drug to make us feel better. if we can't sleep, we have a drug to help us sleep. if we ache we have a drug to ease our pain. if our kids are a little scattered and need discipline it's easier to give them ritalin and adder ol than discipline and the worst part about it is we don't -- these drugs are valuable. they can be very helpful to people but we don't use them to help us just when we are really sick or really need them. we use them to push the envelope. the baseball player who takes steroids because he wants to get the extra home run. the guy cutting the deal on wall street takes a little cocaine or takes -- >> amphetamine. >> so he can work around the clock and make the deal go. we use them to further abuse ourselves and --
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>> it's a value question. >> there is a values question and we are besieged. turn on your television set. you have arthritis, pop this pill and you can dance like fred estair and ginger rogers. you can't sleep, here is a pill guaranteed. no problems. i mean -- >> what's the correction. >> the corrective goes deep. i think the corrective is self discipline, i think it's we have lost a lot of spiritual values in this country and i really think that affects this. we are full of instant gratification. got to have it right now. lives are so bizy and wild. >> the tempo. >> the tempo. we want to do more and more and more. >> where is leisure? >> leisure -- >> anywhere in our societiy? >> leisure may not be there for guys like you and me but it's there for a lot of people who take tame off. but it's not what it used to
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be. >> i arrange for my reading time, joe. but the tempo is fierce. >> the tempo is fierce. >> and the add junks that assist the tempo, like the technology, cell phones, and the other ways of staying in touch and staying on top and working around the clock. >> go to an airport and you see these guys on their black berries. >> what is the corrective, joe? we are almost out of time? >> i think we have people, people have to count to 10 before they start taking substances and ask themselves questions about their life. are there other things they can do? >> so it's a matter of the spirit? >> spirit is very important, john. very important. >> words to live by. thank you very much, joe. good luck with the book. >> thank you. >> high society. >> high society. >> thank you. if. for such a small if i live to a hundred. if social security isn't enough.
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if my heart gets broken. if she says yes. we believe if should never hold you back. if should be managed with a plan that builds on what you already have. together we can create a personal safety net, a launching pad, for all those brilliant ifs in the middle of life. you can call on our expertise and get guarantees for the if in life. after all, we're metlife.
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John Mc Laughlins One on One
PBS July 10, 2011 9:00am-9:30am PDT

News/Business. (2011) New. (CC)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Mel Gibson 8, Us 4, America 4, Dr. Kolodner 4, Kolodner 3, California 3, John 3, Oxycontin 3, Hollywood 3, Califano 2, Metlife 2, Washington 2, Joe 2, Pop 1, Antisa Metic 1, Nonly 1, Minu 1, United States 1, United States Increased 1, Universi 1
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